I consider the United States Senate the greatest deliberative body in the world, and I respect the important role the Constitution affords it in the confirmation of our judges.
We have all witnessed, as well, family, friends, or medical workers who have chosen to provide years of loving care to persons who may suffer from Alzheimer's or other debilitating illnesses precisely because they are human persons, not because doing so instrumentally advances some other hidden objective.
Far from definitively resolving the assisted suicide issue, the court's decisions seem to assure that the debate over assisted suicide and euthanasia is not yet over - and may have only begun.
American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.
During the New Deal, liberals recognized that the ballot box and elected branches are generally the appropriate engines of social reform, and liberals used both to spectacular effect - instituting profound social changes that remain deeply ingrained in society today.
In the legislative arena, especially when the country is closely divided, compromises tend to be the rule the day. But when judges rule this or that policy unconstitutional, there's little room for compromise: One side must win, the other must lose.
For the last decade, I've worked as a federal judge in a court that spans six Western states, serving about 20 percent of the continental United States and about 18 million people. The men and women I've worked with at every level in our circuit are an inspiration to me.
Judges should be in the business of declaring what the law is using the traditional tools of interpretation, rather than pronouncing the law as they might wish it to be in light of their own political views.
Though the critics are loud and the temptations to join them may be many, mark me down too as a believer that the traditional account of the judicial role Justice Scalia defended will endure.
We seek to protect and preserve life for life's own sake in everything from our most fundamental laws of homicide to our road traffic regulations to our largest governmental programs for health and social security.
Standing here in a house of history, and acutely aware of my own imperfections, I pledge that if I am confirmed I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great country.
Practicing in the trial work trenches of the law, I saw, too, that when we judges don our robes, it doesn't make us any smarter, but it does serve as a reminder of what's expected of us: Impartiality and independence, collegiality and courage.
Some of the most impressive judicial nominees are grossly mistreated.
All human beings are intrinsically valuable, and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.
Ours is the job of interpreting the Constitution. And that document isn't some inkblot on which litigants may project their hopes and dreams.
It would be a very good thing for all involved - the country, an independent judiciary, and the Left itself - if liberals take a page from David von Drehle and their own judges of the New Deal era, kick their addiction to constitutional litigation, and return to their New Deal roots of trying to win elections rather than lawsuits.
Where trial-court and appeals-court nominees were once routinely confirmed on voice vote, they are now routinely subjected to ideological litmus tests, filibusters, and vicious interest-group attacks.
In the balance of my professional life, I've had the privilege of the working as a practicing lawyer and teacher.
I began my legal career working for Byron White, the last Coloradan to serve on the Supreme Court, and the only justice to lead the N.F.L. in rushing. He was one of the smartest and most courageous men I've ever known.
Throughout my decade on the bench, I have watched my colleagues strive day in and day out to do just as Socrates said we should - to hear courteously, answer wisely, consider soberly, and decide impartially.